This Google Earth map shows the route of our seven-day, 40-some-odd-mile walking surf trek along France's southern Atlantic coast, a surprisingly unpopulated stretch of beaches.
The author, and our expedition leader Pat Audoy riding the mascaret (French for tidal bore) on the Dordogne River, northeast of Bordeaux. They stayed on this wave for 20 minutes, moving more than three miles upstream past vineyards, clapboard farmhouses, ramshackle fishing camps, and the Castle of Vayres.
The sun sets on our first campsite (a 3-hour walk south of Carcans Plage) and a surf shack built by a local fisherman and surfer named Bruno, who constructed it entirely from driftwood and flotsam he found washed up on the beach. The only new materials he used were nails.
Brazilian pro longboarder Eduardo Bagé, who lives half the year in Biarritz, France, hangs five. Photo taken with a unique new board-mounted camera called the GoPro Sur
The author checking out a funky flotsam temple somewhere south of Carcans Plage, one of a handful of such structures we found along our route.
This is a pretty typical scene for the stretch of beach we walkedwide open with no one around for miles, and only our own footprints in the sand.
A week on the beach without access to outlets and such, we relied on the sun and the Brunton Solarroll and Solo to power all of our camera gear and electronics. Pat (left) and Bagé check power levels.
This was a hot, dry afternoon midway through our trek. We typically hiked about four to five hours a day. Here, Troy Rodriguez is pulling the rickshaw, while Bagé and Pat carry their personal gear.
Bagé looks down a dune near Lacanau at a hulking graffiti-covered bunker, left over from the early 1940s during Germany's occupation of France.
Pat still asleep at dawn on the final morning of our trek. Many nights we simply slept on the sand sans tent.
Our rickshaw, fully loaded with fresh baguettes, five surfboards, camping gear, and topped with a solar panel and our dirty dishes in an old blue laundry basket we found on the beach. It weighed roughly 150 pounds. Click here to learn how to pack for your own walking surf trip.